Monday, March 14, 2011

French companys buys plant that manufacturers Nissan seating

MADISON, Miss. - French auto supplier Faurecia is buying Johnson Controls plant in Madison County that manufactures complete seating for Nissan's assembly plant in nearby Canton.

Nissan spokesman Steve Parrett tells The Clarion-Ledger that Johnson Controls notified the company that the deal would close sometime this spring.
Details of the transaction have not been made public.

Faurecia, the world's sixth largest auto supplier, operates about 200 plants in 32 countries.

In buying the Johnson Controls plant, Faurecia spokeswoman Stacie Tong says the company is "expanding its business with Nissan and its footprint in the Southeast United States."

Johnson Controls on Jan. 7 filed notice that 257 employees will be idled by the switch around Friday or two weeks thereafter, according to the Mississippi Department of Employment Security. Companies with more than 50 employees are required to file such notices.

MDES spokeswoman LaRaye Brown said the agency is helping Faurecia staff the facility.

Parrett said Nissan "welcomes Faurecia to its panel of existing seat suppliers ... We are confident in their ability to maintain the high standards of quality we expect from our suppliers."

Johnson Controls has been one of Madison County's major employers, with as many as 630 people working at the Madison plant at its peak. That number has dropped during the recession.

Faurecia operates a facility in Cleveland, Miss., that employs 350 and produces seat frames for a number of automakers.

Parrett said Faurecia builds trim parts and components for instrument panels for Nissan vehicles assembled at the Canton and Smyrna sites.

Nissan's Canton plant employs about 3,300 people and builds the Altima sedan, Titan pickup, Armada SUV and NV commercial van. Johnson Controls provided seating, and Faurecia will do the same, Parrett said.

The Johnson Controls facility has been a prime supplier to Nissan's Canton site since its opening in 2003.

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